The intuitive, scalable and powerful management
system for any natural history collection
FeaturesBringing your data together
Sample applicationsManaging natural history collections
The list of topics is gradually being extended.
Bringing your data together
For collection managers in museums, botanic gardens, seed banks and those undertaking taxonomy and biogeographic studies, BRAHMS helps integrate your data for collection management and research, increasing outputs and productivity.
Transfering data from v7 to v8
All data stored in v7 can be transferred to v8 using the Admin function provided in the latest versions of v7. The procedure creates a sequence of XML text files in a designated folder - ready for the v8 import function. Guidelines are provided for this in v7. As part of this process, detailed checks are carried out on your v7 database to ensure there are no data integrity errors.
Data store and scalability
Context sensitive menus and toolbars
Context sensitive ribbon toolbars similar to those used in Microsoft Office applications, offer all the features that long term v7 users have voted for. These include record tagging, two step deletion, zoom, column summaries and column selection. They also make BRAHMS v8 intuitive - easy to learn and use.
Spreadheets and forms
By default, BRAHMS uses versatile data grids with context sensitive toolbar options to locate, select, sort, query and analyze your data.
Opening and linking multiple tables
You can open as many tables as you wish at the same time. Table docking can be arranged as needed - and if you are fortunate to have multiple monitors, you can make use of these. Where tables are related, for example, [Family -> Genus -> Species -> Collection event -> Specimen] or ... [Species -> Garden Accession -> Garden Plant -> Plant Events], you can relate these tables to dynamically update as you select records on your data grids. This also applies to maps and extenal weblinks.
Explore, query, filter
BRAHMS v8 includes comprehensive search functionality. You can quickly filter to the value in any cell, adding further cell value filters using the Selection and +Selection toolbar options. Using the main Query tool form, you can design and save your own queries. These queries, which generate visible SQL commands, can mix and match fields of any type. Column summaries and Tree Views provide additional mechanism to quickly locate and query your data.
The ability to sort records, vital for reporting, is also useful to simply locate records and to find errors. Tables can be sorted on single or multiple columns by clicking and shift-clicking on the headers. Complex sorts are carried out and saved using the sorting tool.
Column summaries are a powerful way to list all the different values in the current column. Moving to a different column updates the summary. Furthermore, you can use the column summary tool to quick filter on one or more the listed values.
Design your own tree views
Tree Views provide an excellent way to locate, explore and filter data as well as tracking down spelling errors. The Tree View designer allows you to create and save your own views with up to 10 hierarchical levels, as many as you need per table. Once opened, you can then use the locate and filter options offered, for example 'filter on selection' when you click on any tree level.
Many tables have one or more calculated fields. These are handy fields that provide a range of numeric totals and calculated text strings. Examples are to total up the number of images or documents per record; the number of collections made by different collectors; and the number of genera and species per family. Calculated fields have multiple uses with viewing, reporting and error checking, as well as simply knowing what's in your database.
Module specific tools
Module specific data processing tools help with many different tasks, for example, checking data quality and editing records in batches.
All data editing is initiated using the Edit toolbar. Context sensitive editing applies throughout BRAHMS. Thus if you are in a date field, a date editor is used while with map points, the map point editor. All changes are tracked and can be reversed in steps.
Descriptive text for taxa
You can store descriptive text for all taxa levels, defiining as many text categories as you need. For example, you may want to store details of recommended seed germination procedures at the species level, notes on species hardiness or preferred water requirement or sun tolerance, perhaps a technical description of a genus. All these texts are stored in a central table and can be viewed/edited there or when viewing the respective taxa records themselves.
You can add literature references to the main literature table, linking these to any record in your database. Typically, links will be to species but you may want to store reference entries for people, genera, seed collections, plants, etc.
By tagging a record, you add a character or a number to the TAG field. Tagging opens up numerous options for subsequent record selections, processing and analysis. A simple example would be to tag a selection of records manually or using a function - and then when mapping, restrict to tagged. Tagged records are dynamically coloured.
Mapping options include dynamic links to the in-built ArcGIS and externally, by passing data to ArcGIS, Google Earth, DIVA, QGIS and GeoCAT. Any data with map references (collection events, botanic garden plants, etc.) can be mapped.
Images can be linked to any record in BRAHMS and you can you can link multiple images to the same record. All your images are listed in the central images table with their full pathname or URL. Images can be viewed from the main file and/or wherever they are linked. Various options are provided to link images and you can also drag drop images to the image viewer. Read more about managing images in BRAHMS.
Natural history collections
BRAHMS v8 has been developed to store all categories of natural history collection. Above family, taxa levels including Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order and Suborder are provided as standard higher classification fields. However, depending on the collections you are managing, you can define as many new taxonomic ranks as required, both above and below family level (superfamily, subfamily, tribe, subtribe, etc.). Read more about using BRAHMS for museum management.
While some projects require only a simple list of species names, others assemble comprehensive details about each name as required for different types of research publication. In this respect, BRAHMS manages all details of nomenclature for taxonomic research. The ability to select, format and publish taxonomic information for different purposes, including online, is a key BRAHMS priority. Read more about using BRAHMS for taxonomic research.
Botanic gardens and living collections
The BRAHMS living collections module manages data and images for botanic gardens, arboreta and other horticultural projects. The module uses all the standard BRAHMS features to edit, query, report, map, export and publish online with additional features to manage garden accessions and plants. As living collections data are fully integrated within BRAHMS, it becomes possible to develop a comprehensive system for both curation and research. Read more about managing living collections in BRAHMS.
The seed module, developed collaboratively with the Millennium Seed Bank at RBG Kew, has broad curation and research applications for projects who collect, store, test and distribute seed. Seed accession and test data, related vouchers and images are all integrated and can be published online. Read more about the seed bank module in BRAHMS.
Samples and surveys
The survey module manages data from temporary and permanent plots which may be small, irregularly shaped survey sites or industrial scale forest grid blocks. The simplest samples may only register species presence. More complex surveys may include many more measurements. For example, a forest survey may add data about trees - tree numbers with their provisional identification, diameter, height, stem form, field images, specimen vouchers and more, depending on the research objectives. Plot data, combined with other data stored in BRAHMS, can be used for diversity and bio-quality analysis. Read more about using the sample and survey module in BRAHMS.
BRAHMS online allows you to design websites and manage your data and images online for curation and/or research use. Websites can be created for herbaria; botanic gardens; seed banks; taxonomic groups; geographic areas; images, paintings and illustrations; or any combination of these. Specialist websites can also be created, for example, websites for historical collections or all collections of a particular collector. Read more about publishing online from BRAHMS.